The Lost Sequel to MAZE

April, 2nd 2014 -

In an interview last year with the elusive Christopher Manson he described to me an unpublished sequel to MAZE that he had planned. The publisher was dealing with some internal issues at the time and so it was put aside and ultimately forgotten. The images provided here are from a pitch Manson made to his publisher shortly after the MAZE contest ended.

The sequel was not merely a repeat of the MAZE formula. Manson had planned it to have 100 mind bending rooms. Manson’s artistic sense of the slightly morbidly unsettling was to be extended to the architecture of the maze itself. Gone would be the adherence to logical space in the original MAZE.

One unsettling element is a hallway with no end. I immediately imagined the hallway of doors from Matrix Revolutions but then Manson said it would have no doors. I asked if it was a trap since it had no doors. He said no.

Another of these mind bending effects is many instances of the Deja vu type room except some of these rooms would merely look alike while others are actually the same a room with an element or two changed. One of the two rooms he created to show the publisher was of this variety (see below).

By doubling or tripling the same room Manson could then have doors lock and unlock, have doors that lead back to the same room, and allow choices made by the reader to change not only the shape of the Maze but the content of the rooms as well – thus solving a room may require more than one visit.

Also in MAZE the sequel, instead of a single Abyss (Room 24) there was to be a monster that moved from room to room ending the journey when he caught up with his prey.

The combination of the moving monster and the changing maze would act like a noose. The more a visitor travels the more the maze warps in on itself trapping visitors in increasingly smaller circles until there are no escape from the monster.

It sounds like a great video game, I can hardly imagine it as a book. As incredibly complex as MAZE is, the sequel would have been many times more complicated.

Manson said he was open to making a sequel if there was enough interest, so show your enthusiasm here and perhaps we can convince Manson to pick up his brush again!

- White Raven

The Lost Room open

I call this room “The Lost Room – Open Box” compare this with the version of the room below. These are not two rooms that look alike but the same room with elements moved.

The Lost Room closed

The Lost Room – Closed Box. These images are scans Manson emailed me so there is some blurring, but note the very different artistic style from MAZE. I didn’t think to ask him how he made these images but it appears to be a combination of ink, charcoal and watercolors.

The Lost Room of the One Eyed God

I call this one “The Lost Room of the One Eyed God.” The solution to at least part of this room is a number. Without knowing our choices, it may be darn near impossible to solve but what incredible artistry!

58 thoughts on “The Lost Sequel to MAZE

  1. I would LOVE to see a sequel! My mom bought me the book when I was ten, and I took one look at it and put it back on the shelf. A couple of years ago I picked back and plunged into the Abyss that is this amazing work of genius. If Christopher Mason drew a second, deeper Abyss I would not hesitate again.

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    • I would like to clarify, this was my first comment on this website and I clearly did not understand why the website was called ‘intotheabyss’. I thought the ‘abyss’ part was a reference to the fact that once you open the book, it’s pretty much an abyss of clues, red herrings, dead ends, and false leads. (which it is!)

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  2. A sequel? I can totally dig that! I can only imagine the sorts of new far out challenges Mr. Manson would cook up in a new book! I will most certainly spread this epic news to all of my MAZE comrades so that they can lend support to the cause!

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  3. I must have lead a sheltered life because my wife and I only recently became aware of this outstanding work. We love working on it together and would definitely love to see a sequel. We’ve already involved friends and neighbors that are also new to Mr Manson’s amazing imagination.

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  4. I have been a fan since the book came out. I was 12 and before I could figure it out, the book disappeared from my house (I think someone took it). Anyway, a few years back, my wife and I (we love puzzles as do our kids who are now older than I was when Maze came out) looked it up since I remembered it. So we bought a copy. I have since scoured the web for anything remotely similar, but of course no such thing exists. I would be ecstatic if Manson released a sequal.

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    • Ian,

      The primary purpose of this site is to encourage Manson to make a sequel and it appears to be working in this respect. A sequel is being discussed. Keep your fingers crossed and encourage fellow MAZE-fans to post their encouragements on this page.

      Welcome to the Abyss!

      White Raven

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  5. Please do it, I just fell in love with MAZE and would totally love another challenge.

    Mr Manson you are pure Genius, bless you

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  6. I feel a bit geek-ish admitting to my Manson Maze addiction, but I’ve counted this book among my favorites ever since it came out when I was a freshmen in college. I can remember as a kid absolutely loving Kit Williams’ book Masquerade. I didn’t think anything could make me happier until I happened upon Maze in a college bookstore. The world (inside joke intended) needs Manson to come out with a successor book. Scratch that … I need Manson to come out with a successor book. No contests are necessary … just perhaps a website where can get clues after five years and the solution after 10, 15, or 20 years. Please Mr. Manson, nobody has your talent.

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    • David Frankel,

      At some point in the near future I am going to collect the comments from this page and send them to Manson (he rarely checks this site). If you have MAZE fan friends encourage them to post on this page…who knows which comment may be the one that convinces him to take up the pen again?

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

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  7. Yes, please publish a sequel. The original Maze haunted me from childhood to adulthood. Every few years I’d pull it out and go wandering though its puzzling rooms and cryptic prose.

    Gamebooks are actually making a comeback as a number of the Fighting Fantasy, Sorcery!, and Lone Wolf books have been made into computer games.

    As sequel to Maze however, could never be anything other than a book. And a Kickstarter campaign would be an excellent way to ensure there is sufficient support to get it published. And when you do publish, get someone like James Raggi III of lotfp.com do the book design – he pours his love of the physical look and feel of books into everything he does.

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  8. Abyssians,

    Aria wrote: “A sequel would be so incredible. What can we do to make this happen. Sit-ins? A Kickstarter campaign?”

    A sequel would require a great deal of effort on Manson’s part. Thirty years ago, the original took nine months full time, shut in, for him to produce.

    On the one hand, the modified artistic style is less labor intensive and Manson already has the sequel mostly planned out.

    On the other hand, Manson is determined that the sequel would eclipse the original in size and depth of game play – I have no doubt that he can do this.

    A major publisher is not going to touch this project, with the rise of cell phone games the genre of the puzzle book is believed to be deader than dead. Self publishing the book, going with a smaller publisher (no advance), or pursuing one of a number of plans we have talked about (kickstarter included) is really not a problem, the challenge is to convince Manson it is worth his effort. Building interest in a sequel is a primary reason I launched this site. This site, Maze.tk, the mazecasts, and personal fan pages all help to show that his labor would be worth the effort.

    What you can do is post on this page, have other fans post on this page, and let Manson know that the time is right… we are ready for the sequel now.

    White Raven

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    • Yeah really – if there were money to build a life size maze I think a prior project would be fund Manson for a year to write Maze two.

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    • I would definitely contribute to a Kickstarter campaign to encourage Manson.

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  9. I get the feeling Mr. Manson would greatly enjoy Antichamber, and would have created it himself if given the chance.

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    • I have received a few emails asking about this game. For those who are curious about Antichamber here is a link to the trailer:

      http://www.antichamber-game.com/

      Like MAZE and MYST (but unlike most other puzzle games, Portal for example) Antichamber has an exploration aspect – a maze of sorts that a player can roam about in.

      While it is an exceptional game, the puzzles are sequential-logical like all modern video game puzzles instead of simultaneous-structural like most of the puzzles in MAZE. To put that another way, in sequential-logical games when you get a solution you are rewarded immediately and a simple adherence to logic, experimentation, and spatial rotation will enable a person to blow through a sequential-logical game in short order.

      Antichamber is not a spiritual cousin to MAZE but it is a really good game, I recommend it.

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  10. Please make a sequel. I bought Maze for my son a couple of years ago and we recently rediscovered it. Great book. I would definitely buy a sequel!

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  11. My daughter and I would definitely buy one! I bought her MAZE for her birthday, and she has not been able to put it down (she’s 8). She keeps a journal of all her findings.

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    • jepflast,

      Welcome to the Abyss!

      Yes, we are all eagerly are waiting for news. Manson has assured me that if he decides to begin work on a sequel he will let us know. And if there is anything you can do I will be sure to pass it along. I am sure Manson will appreciate the offer!

      White Raven

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  12. I would buy copies of a sequel in an instant- I read MAZE when I was a child and loved it; I completely rediscovered it last year and still enjoy losing myself in its depths and layers. I love bringing friends into the challenge and sharing this experience; wouldn’t it be amazing to continue this journey with a sequel!

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    • Eule,

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      I think I can say on behalf of all of us here that we agree, YES that would be amazing! :) Thank you for posting. Comments like yours are encouragement to Manson to make it happen.

      White Raven

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